“From the four corners of the earth people are coming to their senses, are running back to God. Long-lost families are falling on their faces before him. God has taken charge; from now on he has the last word.” Psalm 22:28 (The Message)
A friend of mine emailed me this morning and shared about two incidences of violence that occurred in her hometown this week alone…acts of violence that were gruesome, deadly, and devastatingly tragic.
Reflecting on those events, I was reminded of the series our pastor has been preaching about this past summer regarding the end times. It’s been truly fascinating and one I have looked forward to each week with enthusiasm. Anyone who knew me a few years ago would be shocked as I used to take the stance of an ostrich with her head in the sand…don’t talk to me about it because maybe I won’t be around to experience it. Either I’m more mature or God has been gently working on me, but I’ve come to a few conclusions.
First, God allowed me to be born and live in this century for a reason. He wanted me to walk the earth during these years and interact with others who were born now as well.
Second, it’s important to keep the big picture in perspective. I believe the Bible is infallible, which means that what it says I take as truth. Therefore, if God says it in the Bible, I believe it. God tells us multiple times in the Bible that while the devil walks around the earth seeking those he can devour, God claims the victory. He is the ultimate winner. Not only do I know and believe that, but Satan knows it too and I think that truth makes him angry…very angry.
Knowing that truth helps me realize that before Jesus returns, and He will return, things on earth are probably going to continue to get worse. Because, if it were me, and I was in a battle that I knew I would ultimately lose, I would be angry…very angry. And, if I were angry, I would probably let others feel my wrath as well…especially if I was the type of person who enjoyed watching people suffer in their misery.
Realizing the above, I have started to think about the times that we are living in through a different lens. I realize that all time periods in history have had uncertainty and difficulties. I don’t think I would have wanted to live in Roman times when they cut people’s heads off, Jesus’ time when they crucified people on the cross, or the “olden days” when people didn’t know if their children would survive childhood due to disease and other tragedies. Logically we can conclude that we are closer to Jesus’ return in 2015 than they were in 1900. Therefore, it would only make sense that the devil realizes his time to influence others and cause problems is coming to an end, a time unknown to anyone except God. When it’s over, he will be cast into the lake of fire for all eternity. With that to look forward to, I can only imagine how a temper tantrum could build.
Having thought about the above, I try to see difficulties, trials, and challenges from a different angle. I picture the evil one as having a major temper tantrum. Anyone who has been around anyone (adult or child) throwing a tantrum realizes that the person only gets louder before the tantrum is finally silenced. I think that is what Satan is doing now – displaying his temper tantrum while he can, not knowing when he will be defeated but that his time is shortening the longer humankind is alive.
Realizing the above doesn’t lessen the pain of the trial or difficulty being faced, but at least it keeps me from wallowing in fear or uncertainty about my future and the future of the world I live in. I realize that all this life has to offer is temporary – blessings, excitement, trials, and sadness alike. I might not enjoy the temper tantrums the evil one chooses to display – but I do realize, while loud and obnoxious at times, they are temporary and he will be silenced in God’s perfect time.
© Cheri Swalwell 2015